GLENN Turnbull is confident midweek hat-trick hero James Franklyn would turn down any advances from higher division clubs.
The former Pompey academy midfielder’s goals fired US Portsmouth to the top of the Wessex League Division 1 table on Tuesday.
Franklyn’s high quality treble gave US a 3-0 home win over former table-toppers Bemerton, and Turnbull revealed his performance has not gone unnoticed in the higher echelons of the local non league pyramid.
‘My phone was pretty hot the day after!’ he quipped. ‘And I notice that Alresford requested to follow James on Twitter.
‘But all the managers of clubs around here - Gosport, Moneyfields, Baffins, Horndean - will have been aware of James long before Tuesday night.
‘I’d hope he would stay. At the start of the season I wrote a letter to all the players - not just the first team, the reserves, the youth team - outlining our goals for the season. I didn’t mention about going up, it was more about the standards expected.
‘In non league football you can’t really plan for any longer than a year, and I told the players that if they were committed, they should be committed for the whole season.
‘We’ve got great spirit here - the day after the win against Bemerton the whole squad messaged James in their WhatsApp group telling him how much they love him!
‘That sort of spirit is our leveller when we’re playing teams who are paying - whether they’re paying £1 or £100.
‘We know what we’re about here - we don’t pay our players. We give players a grounding and sometimes they go to a higher division - Connor Duffin and Miles Everett at Horndean, Callum Glenn at Baffins.’
Having beaten lofty Bemerton, US go to rock bottom Pewsey Vale tomorrow.
‘I told the players after Tuesday that this is just one win, that they must keep their feet on the ground. There’s no point beating Bemerton and then failing to beat Pewsey.
‘There’s no way we should be conceited, expecting to win. We played New Milton earlier in the season and we were lucky not to lose.’
Petersfield Town aim for their 12th win in 13 games at second-placed Hythe & Dibden.
Since losing to Whitchurch in the league on August 24, the Rams have rattled off five straight wins in the Wessex as well as progressing through two rounds of the FA Vase and the Wessex League Cup, and one round of the Portsmouth Senior Cup and the Russell Cotes Cup.
The only game they haven’t won in the last 13 is an FA Vase draw with Sherborne, who they then beat in a replay.